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In the astronomical calendar, the beginning of autumn is marked by the autumn equinox which occurs around the 22 September.
Similar examples may be found in Irish poet William Butler Yeats' poem The Wild Swans at Coole where the maturing season that the poet observes symbolically represents his own ageing self.
Like the natural world that he observes, he too has reached his prime and now must look forward to the inevitability of old age and death.
In Western cultures, personifications of autumn are usually pretty, well-fed females adorned with fruits, vegetables and grains that ripen at this time.
Many cultures feature autumnal harvest festivals, often the most important on their calendars.
French poet Paul Verlaine's "Chanson d'automne" ("Autumn Song") is likewise characterised by strong, painful feelings of sorrow.
Keats' To Autumn, written in September 1819, echoes this sense of melancholic reflection, but also emphasises the lush abundance of the season.
The possibilities and opportunities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon.
Skies turn grey, the amount of usable daylight drops rapidly, and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally.
The most vibrant displays of autumn leaves are evident when a dry summer is followed by an autumn with dry, sunny days and cold, but not freezing, nights.
Autumn according to the meteorological calendar begins in September and ends in November.